Friday, January 18, 2013

Wives and Daughters By Elizabeth Gaskell

This book is a selection for A 19th Century Classic  for the Back to the Classics 2013 Challenge.
I have never read anything by Elizabeth Gaskell before and I loved this book.  If you like Jane Austen, you will like Mrs. Gaskell's work.

The story: Molly Gibson, the daughter of Hollingford's doctor, is a lovely caring young woman.  Molly is staying at the home of Squire Hamley and his wife who come to love Molly as a daughter. She befriends their sons, Osbourne and Roger, who she cares for very much. Her father decides to marry again when Molly is sixteen. She tells Roger that she is upset at this sudden news.  He tells her that she think of her father's happiness before her own.
 Hyacinth Kirkpatrick (formerly the governess, Miss Clare, at the "big" house) and her daughter, Cynthia, come to live with the Gibsons, when the doctor and Mrs. Kirkpatrick marry.  It is a somewhat happy family but between Mrs. Gibson's small-mindedness and just plain nastiness and Cynthia's constant flirting and discarding men, Molly hurts.

This story was published serially in the Cornhill Magazine (August 1864-January 1866).  Unfortunately, Mrs. Gaskill dies before the last installment was written.

Pages: 648

1 comment:

JaneGS said...

Glad you read one of my favorite novels of all time. I think Molly Gibson is a wonderful heroine, and Cynthia Kirkpatrick one of the most enigmatic characters. I kept expecting her to act a certain way, and then she did something unexpected!

Hope you get the chance to watch the wonderful BBC adaptation--it does justice to Elizabeth Gaskell's final novel, and adds a lovely ending that I think is true to the spirit of the novel.